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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/29/2023 in all areas

  1. It's travel day! Kids just need to add a couple items to their bags this morning after they get dressed. DH and I are 90% packed - it's all there and just needs to be tetris-ed into the bags. Weather looks maybe a little better here is Dallas. 40% chance of rain all day, but at least they aren't saying heavy storms. FLL is now supposed to be only partly cloudy today through embarkation day which with just a 25% chance of rain.
    7 points
  2. Uggghhh! Case in point… one of the golden rules of cruising! Arrive the day before your embarkation day! Thank God we always follow that rule! Today was a crazy travel day! We had a 9:40 AM scheduled non-stop flight from Islip/MacArthur (ISP) to Orlando (MCO) that was supposed to arrive at 12:25 PM. We arrived at the airport at 8:15 AM (less than 10 minutes from home on a bad day) and flew through security (got to break in the TSA PreCheck) as there was no one on line when we entered the Southwest terminal. Right before they lined us up for boarding, they announced that there will be a delay due to some mechanical issue… the bags were of course already loaded onto the plane. After waiting some time, they decided to switch planes and moved us from Gate A7 to the adjacent gate (A6). Now, of course, the bags had to be unloaded/reloaded onto the new plane. There’s more… the new plane (confirmed by the Captain later) had a smaller passenger capacity (23 fewer seats). I’m assuming the 737-700 has a lower capacity than the 737-800. They made the announcement that they were looking for volunteers to switch flights (offered in the end $500 credit), but of course not enough people accepted the offer and they had to bump people from the flight which took time. Thankfully, we all were A boarding group with Early Bird. So, they loaded us on the plane, but we sat there for some time while they unloaded the bags for the folks that switched or were bumped. Finally, at 12:30 PM we took off and landed in Orlando at 2:55 PM. There’s more! We land, but there were no available gates! So, we sat outside the gate area for almost 25 minutes before we were cleared to pull up to a gate and disembark the plane at 3:20 PM. We made our way to the baggage pick-up area and collected our bags after waiting a bit. Our original shuttle service to the hotel (included in the Radisson package through Cocoa Beach Express) was scheduled for 2:00 PM… So, we ran over to the pick-up area and arrived just in time as the 4:00 PM shuttle was getting ready to leave. Thankfully, the driver squeezed us in as we would have had to wait until 5:00 PM for the next shuttle to arrive. By the time we arrived at the Radisson, checked in, and went to the room it was almost 5:30 PM. OK, thanks for letting me vent! I know, this was nothing compared to the numerous horror stories we all have heard! Random pic. What a weird cloud pattern! No clouds over the water! Maybe just an optical illusion since the land is darker? Originally, we had planned on meeting our local friends and cruising buddies for lunch at Grills. Due to the travel delay, they had to cancel and just the four of us made our way to Grills. We all enjoyed the food and the chance to relax and to finally start our vacation! Only Mariner was in port today (for Royal), but not in Cruise Terminal 1… She was at the other terminal (I think Terminal 5) near the Disney Fantasy when we arrived in Port Canaveral. Just a few night outdoor shots of Grills (closest restaurant to Cruise Terminal 1). Looks like a full moon tonight! We went back to the Radisson and they had a tiki pool party with a live DJ going on until 10:00 PM. The pool area looks nice and they have a large outdoor bar as well. We were all wiped out and just headed back to our rooms. Now, if you are not familiar with this resort, the rooms open up to the outside. Think motel-style rooms with very nice landscaping and amenities. Our room was relatively small and very dated, but clean. It will do the job! The restaurant (Flamingos) looks nice and we’ll be having our breakfast there tomorrow. The restaurant is open for breakfast (6:30am-11:00am) and dinner (5:00pm-10:00pm). I’m wiped! Time for bed… one last sleep until we board!
    6 points
  3. The water park cabanas can be plenty relaxing if you want to be there where it’s easy for the 14 year old to come and go. If the others want the beach that won’t work well, but there is the wave pool and you can just relax, have someone bring you food and drinks, and the kid can have a blast at the water park.
    5 points
  4. Curious how many of you collect the cruise ship models? Do you store them prominently on a shelf like trophies? I started cruising in 2018 and mistakenly didn’t get one on my first cruise on Harmony. I have since gotten one on each of the 4 cruises since then. Have myself a little cruise ship shelf on my built in bookcase in the family room.
    4 points
  5. Anthem of the Seas is a day out of Bayonne on their Transatlantic Voyage. If this is the same cruise, which I know many of our members are on, can you update us when you get back? And if you are the person that believes God placed you on earth solely for the rest of us to admire, adore and be in awe.....would you like to claim ownership of this?
    4 points
  6. I am a collector. However, I didn't start doing this until about 2018, so I am missing Adventure, Enchantment, Brilliance & Mariner. We are booked to go back on Adventure next summer, the other 3, I don't know if I will make it back on them. I do display them on a shelf in our house, along with our crystal blocks. Hubby has his Star Wars collectibles and I have my ships and blocks. If I ever catch a good price on eBay, I will grab them, otherwise, I might have to make peace with not having all that I have sailed.
    4 points
  7. Out the door. Stopping for gas then on to the airport. So far our flight is showing on time and it has only been sprinkling.
    4 points
  8. Welcome to the boards @Plasticbrain Here's my take on your plans. I absolutely would NOT stay on the ship in Marseille. You don't need to do an excursion but it's definitely worth getting off for a couple of hours. Grab a taxi from the port and ask to be dropped off at the Vieux Port (Old Port). This is right in the centre and from here you can get the "petit train" (a little tourist train) which takes you up to Notre Dame Basilica on the top of the hill overlooking the city. It's a fun ride and the basilica is well worth a look and the view from the top is lovely. It's not a hop-on, hop-off thing. Everybody gets off at the basilica and then you get on another train when you're ready to go back down. Here are a couple of pics; they're a bit old now, so the quality isn't great, but it'll give you an idea. Once you come back down, you can have a look in some of the shops around the Old Port for some soap. Marseille is famous for its soap and you can get it in liquid and solid form. It makes a great gift to take back home with you, or just treat yourself. This area of France (Provence) is also famous for its lavender fields and you should be able to get some soap that is scented with lavender. You should be able to do all of this in a morning and be back on board in time for lunch and a relaxing afternoon by the pool. For Naples/Capri, I recommend that you DON'T buy the Capri on Your Own excursion, firstly because it's ridiculously overpriced and secondly because there is a cut-off time to cancel if you decide you don't want to do it after all. If you cancel too late you may not get your money back. This is particularly important if the weather decides to be unccoperative because Royal will not give you your money back just because it's raining on the day. So, I suggest you make a tentative plan to really "do it your own". This is very easy to do. The ticket office for the ferry to Capri is literally right next to the cruise terminal. Get off the ship as early as you can and get tickets for the next available ferry. Buy return tickets at the same time for early afternoon, to give you plenty of time to get back. It takes about an hour each way. By doing it this way you keep your options open. I suspect that after back-to-back Florence and Rome you may find you're just too tired to want to do anything more than have a lazy day on board but if you do want to go, it's still doable and far more cheaply than buying Royal's excursion, which is nothing more than a glorified transfer. I don't know what the current cost of the ferry is but in May of last year a round trip ticket was less than half the price of the "on your own" excursion. I hope this helps and you have an amazing time when it comes.
    4 points
  9. Checked in and waiting to board, will post a day one recap later tonight, but for a sneak peek - there are TWO weddings on board and there was a fender bender that got us in the parking garage.
    4 points
  10. Thanks! Yes, they have two outdoor common areas… the pool and bar area just outside the main lobby and another courtyard area with a tennis court, garden, and gazebo. The pool area also has a hot tub and a koi pond. Grills has become our traditional go-to. We’ve tried the other restaurants during past visits to PC with our local friends and all of them were also very good. It’s definitely casual as you would expect with indoor and outdoor seating. They had a live band last night as well. We all had the fish taco dinner and enjoyed it! Here is the link to their PC location menu: https://www.grillsseafood.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Grills-Port-Menu-Web-July2023.pdf Here’s a shot of Grills from Wonder (green roof) just before sail away last January (next to the Ultimate Abyss)… Breakfast at the Radisson was buffet style… typical fare with an omelet station, Belgian waffle maker, etc. Our waitress was excellent! Back at the room packing up and getting ready to meet up in the lobby for our shuttle to the port!
    4 points
  11. As @SpeedNoodles mentioned, the "waiting until you are onboard" only applies to dining packages and the D+/Pin BOGO. When you purchase a specialty dining meal through the CP, you pay full price, so you are rewarded with your choice of times. When you purchase a dining plan, you receive a discount so you are not permitted to choose your dining time until after you board (or just prior to boarding if you are in a suite, in which case, the suites concierge can make those reservations for you a couple of days before you board).
    4 points
  12. And minimal staffing- one person can serve hot dogs.
    4 points
  13. I would love a comparison post! Just do it! After Oasis wildly disappointed us in its 12:30a Ghost Town status, Batman got royally ticked and booked us on Norwegian over Thanksgiving, and i was actually thinking of one post to compare them, post shutdown. My first thought was a comparison of a Deck 17 Bloody Mary v. a Haven Bloody Mary in an Epic Smackdown, but then i thought..... shut up. I sorta feel like i did enough of that already. But Royal anchors us all, and i love comparisons with a known sample. I'd really love one on Virgin if anyone is so inclined.
    4 points
  14. It was the Crown Lounge on my Oct 15th sailing.
    4 points
  15. The flight had a bumpy start but smoothed out once we got above the clouds. In the Uber, and it's $70 for an XL to the hotel. Should be a 35 minute ride.
    3 points
  16. At the gate. Still on time, and we board in about 10 minutes.
    3 points
  17. That's really up to the individual. I found that 3 full days, and evenings throughout the sailing, was plenty of time to experience everything Oasis has to offer. Do book show reservations in advanced (will be available about 30-40 days before sailing) so you can see the shows when you'd like to see them.
    3 points
  18. I like that you noticed despite everything you had going on & I had to double check while still on the ship with none of your craziness.
    3 points
  19. Same we just got off wonder last week just checked now and we are at 74 points. Desparately looking for a bargain 7 nights to get to 80 lol
    3 points
  20. @asquared17 I was thinking maybe you could just do a post in this blog. since that cruise is before this one.
    3 points
  21. I tried over the summer, and it did not go well either.
    3 points
  22. Thank you all for kind words and answers, we still have plenty of time to make decisions (more answers and input is very welcome)
    2 points
  23. I see your logic, but my counter is Literally no one is going to book a cruise just to purchase a model. Many people have reported that the models are not available when they are on a ship, so what are they to do in that case? It is what it is, It's Royal's decision to make, I just don't agree with it.
    2 points
  24. yeah I tried to get Harmony off Ebay but it was crazy price. Guess I will just have to sail it again someday....darn
    2 points
  25. Then add a Kraken floater & it gets that much better. Very generous bartender at the Oasis pool bar today.
    2 points
  26. I concur with @Ampurp85 re: Bistro dinner. It is really (IMO) nothing more than a quieter Windjammer meal. Back in "the day" they used to have a buffet area for things like salads, sides, desserts, etc. but they brought your main course to you from the kitchen. Not any more....at least, in my experience. It's ALL buffet now and as I am not a fan of buffets, in general, I found it to be disappointing. It's better than the WJ b/c it's less hectic but there are also fewer options... Anyway, it is what it is....
    2 points
  27. Not much to worry about in November. Also, day to day weather has nothing to do with hurricane season. I’m sure you will be fine. Focus on how great that first pina colada will be in Coco Cay.
    2 points
  28. I have only seen it in CP. Just imho........While the Bistro is a nice relaxing area I found the food to be very lackluster. It's mostly Mediterranean options and if you aren't a fan of that cuisine, you probably won't be satisfied.
    2 points
  29. Ya! At least you didn't have to drive yourself halfway to Orlando! LOL! That looks like a nice way to unwind after a long travel day. Happy Cruise Day!
    2 points
  30. I used the app because I couldn't find Jamie's boarding day lunch on the planner via the website. When I made the reservation, it asked me for which people, and that is where I saw all of the room numbers. They booked a GTY ocean view on Symphony. I was VERY surprised that it was assigned this early. They were assigned half of a connecting room and we were already also able to swap them to a different room in the same category (same floor, same general location) but not connecting.
    2 points
  31. Check all of your current coverage options and determine any gaps for things important to you. For example, my credit card has trip cancellation and emergency evacuation coverage. My health insurance is a global policy and even covers medical aboard cruise ships specifically as well as coverage abroad. I don’t buy extra insurance for these reasons.
    2 points
  32. @teddy, yours is one of the best stories I have ever read regarding "plan for the worst and hope for the best". You did an outstanding job of planning lots of cushion time and boy did you end up needing it ! In the end, once you were able to extract the stress from the unfortunate scheduling SNAFUs, you had a wonderful opportunity that you would have otherwise missed ! Talk about your silver linings ! ...and it was all due to your anticipation of "issues" which, unfortunately, came to pass.
    2 points
  33. Yes and yes. Book it in the cruise planner like any other specialty restaurant but the charge will be $0pp of course.
    2 points
  34. We use Allianz. Reputable and not too expensive. Annual with them is cheaper than one cruise with Royal. Also Allianz is what we always booked through the airlines when we did just one flight.
    2 points
  35. I hate to bring up the other site, but over on CC there was a thread some time ago about a fair number of folks being denied boarding on a closed loop cruise stopping in Colombia because they did not have passports. Do NOT trust a Royal phone rep with questions about immigration rules.
    2 points
  36. We've stayed at the Radison for 7 of our 8 cruises, and have always enjoyed it. It is getting so expensive, though. I have a friend who lives close by and I think I'll see about staying the night before our next cruise in Feb and ubering to the port. He works at KSC and has offered, so I think I'm going to take him up on it.
    2 points
  37. When I travel, I want life experiences. I just keep the mindset that bad experiences are just as rememberable as good ones. Some of the time it is more exciting to tell people how I was in my truck in New Orleans when a hurricane came though as it was, I visited New Orleans with my son and enjoyed beignets overlooking the Mississippi River. Here is another example of a vacation experience that I do not consider bad, just a rememberable experience: When I was at Coco Cay for the first time I looked out and it was a great looking day. I got off with my walking shoes and shorts on. I took off walking exploring the island for the first time. I walked all over the island but just as i got to the furthest side I noticed the weather was getting dark and colder. I started walking back and it started to sprinkle. The closer I got to the ship the darker the skies got and the harder the rain got. By the time I got to the long dock it was pouring rain, the wind was blowing very hard, and I was soaked from head to toe. After we got on the ship there was a trail of water going down the hallway. When I got to the first bar there was a line of people getting shots just to warm up.
    2 points
  38. @KJ777 Icon won't sail until Jan 27th so there are no cruise compasses. But early dinner around 5:30, should guarantee you can make 7:30/8pm shows and a 7pm reservation should be okay for shows after 9pm.
    2 points
  39. No. Pretty sure all invoices just show “GTY” no matter what category you booked.
    2 points
  40. Marketing works! I just received our last call to book in the cruise planner email. Since we probably won't be taking surf lessons at FLL, I booked flowrider lessons for the kids for day 2. There are actually a couple flowriders at city pools near us and we had a chance to practice this summer a couple times. DD can stand for about 10-15 seconds. DS goes down pretty quick, but doesn't like to wait in lines so didn't practice as much as DD. A dedicated lesson will be good for them.
    2 points
  41. Writing all this down, I have much to learn We have arrived! The second leg of the drive was quite chaotic. A few months ago a hurricane came through the Madison county area of Florida and took down as many as 10,000 trees. Well, today was the day they decided to try and clean some of that up so we were in either bumper to bumper traffic, or dodging reckless 18-wheelers all day. I originally had us booked at the Hampton (connected to Home 2), but H2 had some last minute deals this week so I just swapped us over. Saved about $50, I’ll take it! Room is very spacious and has a nice walk in entry pool. We might start our paddles early tonight and stretch these legs.
    2 points
  42. Allure has the best Diamond lounge in the fleet
    2 points
  43. Awesome lead off expecting hurricane season snark from a blog full of cruisers also sailing during this time of year! On the chairs, I think your expectation should be similar to your previous 9 cruises. Chair hogs will be out expressing their entitlement by sequestering chairs for their possible future return. If you can't get chairs exactly where you want, look at your second choice, then your third and so on. No idea on if PDCC will be cancelled but I suspect not. It absolutely won't rain the "entire time". "So Windy" and "Too Rocky" are relative so I'll shoot you a maybe on those. How do I go with the flow? I use the coping skills I learned as a wee lad. Generally I don't focus on the few negatives in my view, but instead turn around and look at the vast number of positives. Relax @Bridgetbien, the purpose is to unwind, not to wind yourself up tighter. Enjoy your cruise.
    2 points
  44. Dion was good to us, we paid it forward
    2 points
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